Tuesday, January 18, 2011

printed word or e-book, a comparison

After 3 weeks of reading exclusively on my new Kindle, I picked up a real book from my night stand, one I had requested and received for Christmas, Just Passin' Thru by Winton Porter, stories of hikers as told by the proprietor of Walasi-Yi, the store at Neal's Gap at the foot of Blood Mountain, the only place on the entire 2178 mile AT that passes under a roof.

In comparison to Kindle, the first thing that struck me was the color. Then the weight. I went through my usual ritual of reading everything on the front cover, then the back cover, then she initial pre-story pages, the preface, the special thanks, the dedication, Library of Congress cataloging information, and then on to the inside back cover for the 'about the author' and about the publishing company, Menasha Ridge Press which is in Alabama and writes outdoor guides.

All of these things I can do on the Kindle also, so the only difference so far was the color and weight.

Once into the meat of a story, I usually get focused and it does not matter which media I am using. But this book has some occasional pictures which are neat and a nice break between chapters, and along the bottom of every page is a kind of border of a topo map, a nice touch, and to separate areas within a chapter there is a little hiker symbol. These little things can be distractions to reading, or they can enhance the experience.

Kindle is a bare bones book depository, colorless, no frills. It has a large capacity, is portable, lightweight, has a lot of options for searching and taking notes and bookmarking, etc., it is a great little place to keep all your reading material together in one place.

But holding and reading a printed book has its place also. So maybe I will integrate the two reading methods, a little of this and a little of that.

I must go to the library today to return a book that has been sitting here since before Christmas and to pay the late fee. I wonder if the library folks will wonder why I haven't been in lately. I feel like a traitor, like I should wear my sunglasses and a hat and just slip the book in the outside depository with some cash inside. What if everyone got a Kindle or other reader and stopped checking out books, would the library lose its funding and have to close? Some libraries offer e-books to check out and download, so maybe that is the way of the future?

But for now I have to get back to the Kindle and read the free sample chapters of the new John Grisham book, The Confession. You can't do that at my library, in fact I just checked our library online and this book currently has 92 hold requests...

Kindle has changed my way of selecting books to read. Instead of having a list of my favorite authors, I first check to see what is on sale or even free. This has introduced me to many authors new to me. I just finished an e-book, When the Devil Whistles by Rick Acker, a free mystery/thriller, it was very good. And I also finished 61 Hours by one of my favorite authors, Lee Child, the book was on sale, and was the first thing I downloaded to my new Kindle.

As far as Just Passin' Thru, I am into the 4th chapter and like it a lot. The writer is a good storyteller, the characters are real people, the setting is the north Georgia mountains, and it is about hikers, all the making of a good read!


Stray Stitches said...

I have a Sony eReader and find that I really enjoy using it over holding and real books. I sometimes still read an actual hard cover book when the book I want is not available in an e format.

June said...

I was wondering...can you sort and search on Kindle? By title, by subject, by author, etc. I would think so.

Rose said...

I keep thinking about a kindle...just for all the free stuff alone. so much of the stuff I buy, I cannot get for the Kindle. I would love to know someone that has one till I could try it out.